CENTRAL HIGH tennis player DreShaun Jarmon is aiming for the stars.
And beating them, too.
Someday, the 15-year-old sophomore from South Philly hopes to become a pediatrician.
But on Saturday, he competed against some of the tennis world's most noteworthy players.
Jarmon defeated Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters and Esther Vergeer - the 2009 wheelchair singles champion at the U.S. Open, French Open and Australian Open - in a target-hitting contest on center court at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Jarmon, who will play No. 1 singles at Central this season, said he wasn't nervous even though there were some 25,000 screaming fans present.
"It helped a lot that [before the competition] there was a room where all the pros were sitting and I got to sit with them and talk," Jarmon said yesterday. "I got all their signatures and they told me to just enjoy myself and have a lot of fun."
Jarmon did both, and was awarded $15,000 for the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center in Philadelphia in the process.
"They [the pros] were pretty surprised," said Jarmon, who started playing when he was 5. "I guess they weren't expecting it."
Neither was Jarmon.
"Afterward, when I was walking through the crowd, people kept asking for my autograph," he said. "At first, I didn't know they were talking to me."
- Tom Mahon